Tactical Combat (Chimera)

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Tactical combat in XCOM: Chimera Squad is mostly the same as in the XCOM 2, but it has some new mechanics that totally change combat experience.

Timeline

Most prominent change is removing the classic turn system in favor of the new one — the Timeline. Put simply, there are no "team" turns. Instead, every single unit has its own "order number" in the line, alternating between XCOM and the enemy with each turn. Now, the "turn" means the turn of a single unit, while the period from the first to the last turn is called the "round". Without any interference, there is no way to change the order inside the Timeline aside from Agents positioning during the Breach Phase. However, some abilities will change the position of affected units in Timeline:

  • Relocate (Shelter) – if Temporal Shift is learned, affected enemy will be delayed for a few turns;
  • Soulfire (Shelter) — affected enemy will be delayed for a few turns, as well as receiving damage;
  • Pin Down (Terminal — affected enemy will be delayed for a few turns;
  • Last Stand (Godmother) — when activated, creates additional turn right after the turn Godmother was hit;
  • Alpha Strike (Godmother) — when activated, will move Godmother's turn to nearest teammate's one;
  • Preparation (XCOM only) — sends affected operative closer to the beginning of the Timeline, as well as giving +30 Defense and +50 Dodge and removing Burning debuff, if present;
  • Move Up (XCOM only) — sends affected Agent to the second position in Timeline;
  • Tyranny (Progeny Sorcerer) — sends affected unit in the beginning of the Timeline;
  • Tempo Surge (Sacred Coil Ronin) — creates two additional turns in the Timeline at the second and fourth turns from current position;

Combat wounds

Thanks to their plot armor unique nature, Chimera Squad Agents cannot be killed in action. Instead of dying, they will always start to bleed out, should they run out of HP. In this case you have 4 rounds to stabilize them until that Agent dies, otherwise his/her death will fail the mission (and fail the entire game, should you play with Hardcore mode on). To stabilize the agent, you must move an active Agent next to them and use "Stabilize" ability or, if you have Terminal in the squad, just order her to stabilize the wounded Agent. Remember — you can choose not to stabilize the agent should you be sure that you can finish the mission/encounter in time, as well as evacuate the whole squad without stabilizing the wounded, UNLESS this Agent carries mission item, then leaving them behind will automatically fail the mission. If agent(s) was/were knocked out in the middle of the mission you must replace them with android(s), which can be purchased at the free time in Supply section (first Android will be given for free after finishing first Assembly project). After the mission Agents will recover from any wounds, but if they were knocked out, they will receive a Scar — a permanent reduction of the one of the stats (there is a chance to receive a Scar if Agent was just gravely wounded (they health was dropped to 1)). Getting shot to near death will get another Scar, so they must be healed at Training facility as soon as they were received.

Breaching

I think there is no need to write about this for the second time, so if you wish to learn about this, see Breaching.